Here’s a look at possible Pistons coaching candidates
After parting ways with Stan Van Gundy on Monday, the Pistons are suddenly in the market for a new head coach. In trying to assess their situation with Van Gundy, Pistons owner Tom Gores had conversations over the past three weeks to figure out a path forward.
Van Gundy was both team president and head coach; general manager Jeff Bower’s contract will be up this summer and he very likely won’t be back. That signals that the Pistons will have to fill three critical roles: team president, general manager and head coach.
Indications are that the Pistons will look to bring in a veteran at each position, though they could look in different directions for each spot. One of the primary candidates, former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, was hired by the Knicks on Monday, but there remain plenty of options.
Gores likely will fill the position of team president first and let him pick the rest of his front office and then the head coach. Here are a few names the Pistons could consider in their search for a head coach:
■ Mike Brown: He’s the associate head coach of the Golden State Warriors and he’ll be busy with their playoff run. Brown, 48, previously was the head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he was named coach of the year in 2009 and led the Cavs to the NBA Finals in 2007. He also coached the Lakers in 2011-12 before being fired after a 1-4 start the next season. Known for his defensive acumen, Brown could be one of the prime candidates.
■ Mike Budenholzer: A longtime assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, Budenholzer, 48, spent the last five seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. He led them to the playoffs in his first four seasons there, including a 60-win campaign in 2014-15. He compiled a 213-197 record in five seasons, despite a dismal 24-58 mark this season.
■ Mark Jackson: The former Warriors coach, 53, is a former player who could have some cache with the current roster. He’s been an analyst with ESPN, but if he hasn’t gotten a coaching job in the past few seasons, there could be a legitimate reason for that.
■ Jerry Stackhouse: He spent four-plus seasons playing for the Pistons and had two All-Star selections. Stackhouse, 43, has paid his dues as a coach in the development league, coaching the Toronto affiliate, the Raptors 905. The Pistons could be looking for a more experienced candidate, but Stackhouse could get an interview.
■ Frank Vogel: He coached the Indiana Pacers for five seasons and spent the last two with the fledgling Orlando Magic. Vogel, 44, had some postseason success with the Pacers, getting to the Eastern Conference Finals twice, but couldn’t get over the hump. The Pistons have a ready-made roster and could be in a win-now mode that could be appealing to Vogel.